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Williams College Libraries

How to Find Film Reviews and Criticism: Introduction

Reviews vs. Criticism: How Do They Compare?

Film ReviewsFilm Criticism
Authorship usually written by journalists or other non-academics written by academics
Audience the general movie-going public scholars/academics
Content/Purpose
describes the plot, characters, cast, director, etc. in order to help the reader assess whether they want to watch the film. may analyze the plot, characters, cinematic techniques; compare films by the same director or similar films within a genre; apply a particular critical theory to the film; and/or assess social, historical, or cultural significance of the film in order to advance the scholarly conversation about the film.
Publication Timeframe published in the weeks and months around the time the film is released published in the years or decades after the film was released   
Where published Rotten Tomatoes, The Guardian, Variety logos
online review sites, newspapers, and popular magazines
Camera Obscura, Adaptation, Film Quarterly
film studies journals